Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from
Contact Us

Shacharit–Morning Prayers

Shacharit–Morning Prayers

Rise and Climb


The sun has risen; a new day beckons.

It’s time to climb a ladder, to ascend to the heavenly spheres and fortify our sensitivity for G‑d and spirituality. After this daily booster we descend, equipped to tackle the day and the struggles it will present.

This ladder is the morning prayers, shacharit, recited sometime between sunrise and midday (the earlier the better). The prayer lasts, on average, half an hour.

Shacharit is preceded by several pages of preliminary blessings and prayers. After this preamble, the ladder-climbing commences.

Rung One:

Content: Hodu—a set of verses that praise the Almighty—and Psalms 30 and 67.
Theme: Simple acknowledgement of G‑d as the Master of the Universe, and a commitment to obey His will.

The Amidah reveals the intrinsic bond that connects us with the Creator, a bond that transcends emotion or intellect

Rung Two:

Content: The “Verses of Praise,” a series of Psalms (the bulk is Psalm 145–150), preceded by a blessing (Baruch She’amar) and followed by one (Yishtabach).
Theme: Awakening an emotional attachment to G‑d through awareness of His awesome deeds.

Rung Three:

Content: The Shema, preceded by two blessings and followed by one.
Theme: Contemplating the workings of the supernal worlds and comprehension of G‑d’s greatness and oneness.

Rung Four:

Content: The Amidah.
Theme: The Amidah is when one stands before G‑d and addresses Him directly, asking for his needs. This closeness denotes complete oneness with G‑d, a revelation of the intrinsic bond that connects us with the Creator, a bond that transcends emotion or intellect. This prayer is recited while standing at attention, and in an undertone.

Climbing Down

The Amidah is followed by penitential prayers, a brief reading from the Torah scroll on Mondays and Thursdays (and some other festive days), the “Song of the Day,” followed by the “Ein k’Elokeinu” and “Aleinu” hymns.


  • Adult males don tefillin and tallit for the course of the prayer.
  • When there are ten men, kaddish is recited several times during the prayer, and the prayer leader repeats the Amidah aloud while the rest answer “Amen.”
  • For special days (e.g., Shabbat, holidays, fast days), there are special variations. Certain prayers are added or omitted.
Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the discussion
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (17)
January 23, 2017
To Tania
Most of the Shacharit prayers can be recited by one praying alone as well. See here for details.
Rochel Chein for
January 19, 2017
I know that women are meant to say the Amidah at least once a day, but if you are a single female, not able to make it to shacharit service, but still want to develop a morning prayer routine - will these rungs be halachically suitable for women?
October 14, 2015
Help for a student
Shalom! I was wondering what you would recommend for someone with limited time to say shacharit, such as a student. Would saying just the amidah be acceptable?
A grateful Jew
May 16, 2015
am finding the meaning of these prayers up lifting
Deborah Critelli
jersey city
July 26, 2014
Thank you for this! I love the teachings you present...
One question... Why address the day with the "struggles it will present"? Especially after praying any struggles should be turned to joy and learning about the beauty of our world as we are walking through the day with a higher awareness. Addressing the day with joy instead of struggle seems much more appropriate to G-d's desires.
Washington State
December 23, 2012
Re Videos
hi, please click on 'related' and video' on the right side of the page. You'll see several videos on the daily prayers. Enjoy! Staff
December 22, 2012
I really like this article. I'd like to see a video on the how to to better assist me..shalom can anyone suggest anything?
October 29, 2012
I see in the Notes that without a minyan, I should not say kaddish. What else should I omit if I am saying morning prayers alone?
September 11, 2011
To David Morris
You may bathe before launching into your Shacharit routine.

You should delay your breakfast, however, until after you pray. If you feel that you will be hungry and not able to concentrate a snack is okay, as it will enhance your prayers.
Menachem Posner for
Montreal, QC
September 10, 2011
Order of morning
What is the best order of the morning...?
"Modi Ani" then "Netilat Yadayim". Get dressed & straight into Shacharit.

Or do you (or can you) bathe & have breakfast after Netilat Yadayim before getting into Shacharit....?

Is the order optional to the individual or set
David Morris
Sydney, Australia